Let’s get to the root of it.
As leaders, do you ever find yourself afraid, abused, broken, fearful or feeling hopeless and insignificant? Do you at times feel lonely or rejected? Have you been in a place where the enemy has whispered a lie into your spirit? Did you believe the lie as truth? Let’s get to the root of it. Jeremiah 8:22 asks the rhetorical question, “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?” The answer, of course, is that healing is available to those who seek the Great Physician.
As a Christian leader, an ordained pastor, wife of a senior pastor and someone who formerly served on a ministry executive team, I have been wounded. I believed the lie that as a leader I needed to suppress how I felt. I hid behind the mask that all was well. Sometimes as leaders we may wear masks to hide our true emotions and feelings. When this happens you may continue to be wounded and the wounds can grow deeper and deeper until they become debilitating.
In my book, Who Told You That?: The Truth About the Lies, I share that as leaders we may find ourselves wounded at times. There are times when leaders wrestle with the lies versus the truth. This is when it is imperative to ask, “Who told you that?” This shines a light on the lies that have been spoken. Lies create wounds, but light gives room for healing.
Sometimes leaders withdraw and enter into a place of isolation. This happens because we believe the lie that no one needs to know we are faced with challenges. But God created a community so that we can actually commune with others. The enemy wants nothing more than to get us in a place where we isolate ourselves from others. There he can keep us in a cycle of feeling defeated. In my “transformational prayer” workshops, I share, “Isolation leads to darkness, darkness leads to secrets, and secrets could lead to spiritual death.” We never want to become so shackled by lies and our wounds that we find that we are spiritually dead.
Here are beginning steps you can implement on your road towards healing:
- Count the cost. Think about it in terms of your ROI. Your return on investment. How much more energy are you going to give this pain? Begin today by telling yourself the truth. Own what you are fighting through and use it for healing, self-direction, and build confidence within yourself to break free.
- Be honest, and admit to yourself that something is wrong. Feeling out of balance? Like all journeys, the path to healing begins with admitting that you are faced with a challenge. Deal with the fact that you have been wounded, and are experiencing some pain. It is our choice to own the wound or avoid our feelings. At some point we have to say, “Okay I’ve been wounded, now what am I going to do about it?” Only once we decide to own our wound can we participate in the fullness of the life that God has for us as leaders.
- Any journey apart from Jesus may land you in a web of deception. No matter what we try to do on our own to get through our place of being wounded, we must seek God, the author and the finisher of our faith, and his will in dealing with the wound.
- Believe God. Don’t simply believe in God, but believe him. No matter how dark the circumstance or disabling the pain, with God there is a way to wholeness and healing.
- Surrender to the guiding of the Holy Spirit. It’s about being Christ-centered and not self-centered. Ask the Holy Spirit to walk you through the process of healing by dealing with the source of your pain. This is beyond what you feel. This position will allow you to receive from the Lord. You may not like what you see, but it’s necessary to get through your wound to a place of healing.
- Be Present. Stay in the moment.
- Express your honest feelings to Jesus. It’s time to lament! “God, why?” How long? Why are people doing this to me? Tell God, “I’ve done everything you called me to do! I’ve been obedient! I’ve been faithful! “What did I do wrong?” Lamenting is good. This helps move you from your wound to your healing.
- Release and forgive. Release your wound(s), and forgive. This step is necessary in order to move forward. Releasing and forgiving allows you to be set free from the prison you have built around yourself. Failing to forgive, and that includes forgiving yourself, will lead to personal torment.
I realize that this can be a difficult journey, but it is necessary. You will be grateful to have embarked on this journey of healing past wounds that have damaged you, your family, your ministry and maybe even your relationship with Christ.
Join the conversation and share your thoughts below.
Buy the book: Who Told You That?: The Truth About the Lies http://gaildudley.com/bookstore.html
First printed in Outcomes Magazine Fall 2014 pg. 46 by Gail Dudley
Reprinted with revisions, May 20, 2017
By Gail E. Dudley, www.GailDudley.com